A noose was found hanging outside on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, authorities reported. This is the third time a noose was found on the grounds over the last several weeks.
It was discovered on a light post near the National Gallery of Art. Police are still investigating, U.S. Park Police Sgt. Anna Rose told ABC News.
It is not yet clear if the three incidents are related, ABC also reported.
Late last month a noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. A few days later one was discovered at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).
The incident marks the second time in one week a noose was found at a Smithsonian museum.
“We are an inclusive city, and we do not tolerate signs of hate, ignorance and fear,” the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, said regarding the first incidents. “Our diversity is what makes us stronger, and we will not relent in promoting and defending DC Values. We do not take these incidents lightly, and we will not accept that signs of hate are signs of our time.”
In a Twitter message last month Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the NMAAHC, wrote, “The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African-Americans. Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African-Americans continue to face.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the noose “depicts the horrors of racial violence perpetrated against African-Americans and others” even more so than a burning cross.
“Nooses show support for the days of segregation and subjugation, epitomizing the essence of discrimination,” according to SPLC. “The noose not only symbolizes racism, but also served as the actual murder implement for the lynching of people because of the color of their skin.”
The noose’s roots trace back to the days of lynching African-Americans, but the symbol continues to show up even today.
In May the FBI launched an investigation at American University in Washington, D.C., where bananas were found hanging from nooses on the campus after Taylor Dumpson, the university’s first Black female student government president, took office. In April, at the University of Maryland, a noose was found hanging in the kitchen of the Phi Kappa Tau chapter house on Fraternity Row. And In March, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala in Florida received a noose and several racist, threatening messages.
Hate crimes spiked across the country in the days following the election of President Donald Trump. Compared to the estimated 115 racially motivated hate incidents that occurred every 10 days in 2015, there were more anti-Black incidents alone — 187 — in the 10 days following the election.